Readers of Criminal Element may know my name from The Thrilling Detective Web Site, where I edited the original fiction section from 2001 to 2009. Today, however, I’m speaking as a poet. Perhaps you’ve found poetic allusions in the fiction of Raymond Chandler, Ross Macdonald, or Robert B. Parker. More recently, Ken Bruen’s or Reed Farrel Coleman’s fiction may strike you as poetic. This April—National Poetry Month as established by the Academy of American Poets—I invite you consider poetry about crime.
I began to look at poetry through the lens of crime after reading Chandler, Macdonald, and Parker. I began to admire in poetry the economy of language, sense of purpose, and pace I saw in crime fiction. Poetry seemed an ideal form in which to cope with the unspeakable, horrific nature of crime. What’s more, crime poetry didn’t have fiction’s safety net. From 2008 to 2011, I published an annual chapbook of crime poetry called The Lineup. For that project, my co-editors and I accepted new and previously published poetry. Unfortunately, printing costs were too high to publish more frequently.
When The Lineup was forced to cease publication, I decided to re-think the concept and created The 5-2: Crime Poetry Weekly website. On the site, I publish all-new crime poetry year-round, including accompanying audio or video readings. I invite you not only to visit, but also pick your favorite poem from the site and blog about it for our April blog tour, 30 Days of The 5-2.
Expound on what drew you to the poem, interview the poet, whatever you’d like to do. If you don’t have a blog of your own, I’d be glad to post your entry at The 5-2. My goal is to keep poetry on people’s minds not only for April, but all year. I hope to hear from you and maybe even publish your poetry.
I’ll be back in March with a tour schedule and preview of a tour stop!